Ghetan Ward/The Tennessean—Household furnishings retailer Crate & Barrel plans to open a holiday-themed pop-up store inside The Mall at Green Hills, which, if successful, could lead to its first permanent brick-and-mortar location in Tennessee.
The pop-up store is among four that the company plans nationwide.
“This is the first time we’ve done this,” said Vicki Lang, spokeswoman with Crate & Barrel. “This is just a great opportunity for us to gauge the interest of the Nashville market with a store presence — a pop-up store.”
The holiday-themed store should open at the Green Hills mall in late October and will operate for roughly two months through the holiday season.
Lang wouldn’t say how much space the store would occupy, but real estate observers familiar with the plan estimate it will roughly be about 1,500 square feet.
It would carry holiday décor and gift items, such as everything to trim a tree or set up a holiday table, Lang said. The chain’s 88 brick-and-mortar stores in North America carry its full houseware and furniture collections.
“We’re focused on all things for the home,” Lang added. “We’re known as a destination for people who are entertaining or decorating their homes.”
While Crate & Barrel doesn’t have a store here, Lang said the chain has a loyal customer base in Nashville that shop through its catalog and online. The retailer has stores within a few hours’ drive, including Atlanta, Cincinnati and Indianapolis.
Lululemon Athletica, which has a Hillsboro Pike store, is among other retailers that use the pop-up concept to test whether a market can support a full-store. “This is definitely a new concept for Crate & Barrel,” said Jeff Green, a Phoenix-based retail analyst. “However, it makes a lot of sense.”
Crate & Barrel is the latest well-known U.S. specialty retailer pursuing a presence around Nashville as the city’s profile rises on the national scene.
“It’s a little surprising that they haven’t opened in Nashville when they’ve been in places like Cincinnati and Richmond for several years,” Green said. “Nashville is not only more populated, but has stronger population growth than either of those two cities. Green Hills is the perfect location for it.”
Green said Crate & Barrel likely identified Nashville for a possible full-line store and wants to see how it does this holiday season, adding the chain also might open only a store or two where the four pop-up stores do best.
Lang declined to disclose the three other cities where Crate & Barrel will open holiday-themed, pop-up stores this year. “We’re very close,” she said about finalizing arrangements. “We absolutely intend to be in the market.”
Officials at The Mall at Green Hills couldn’t be reached for comments.